Steven Universe is not only one of the best shows on TV right now but it without question has the best music. A wild variety of styles from chiptunes to powerful gay ballads to dopey love jams, Steven Universe tackles each genre flawlessly.
With the release of the Steven Universe soundtrack, we put together a list of our favorite songs. So let’s find out what songs are strong in the real way.
Honorable Mention: Big Donut
This song will never make an official list, which saddens me. Since I’m not including it in the official top ten, I’ll throw it a bone. How can you not love Mr. Smiley’s ’80s- riffic singing? Even better, Steven’s pure enjoyment of the song.
It’s a crime we don’t have the full version.
10: Let Me Drive My Van (Into Your Heart)
Could any other song more perfectly sum up Greg Universe? The dude loves his van so much he wrote a love song themed around it. Come on, we’ve all been that person to try and incorporate our favorite things into our love ballads. Right?
It’s also adorable that Greg either doesn’t know/doesn’t care that both the literal and figurative image he’s painting with those lyrics. If one were to actually drive a van into your heart… well not to put too fine a point on it but you’d be dead. Like, really dead.
Or maybe the “van” means something else in which case wow this show has more adult themes than I ever gave it credit for. Knowing the side remarks Greg has made in the past, that’s not surprising.
9: Meat Beat Mania: Flambée!
The only pure instrumental song to make the list, the way this song slowly escalates throughout the episode to finally hit this fast paced whistle filled tune is pure video game glory. Not only that, but it’s for a video game named Meat Beat Mania. I would totally play a videogame with this tune blaring throughout. Hell, someone needs to get this into Dance Dance Revolution. Imagine playing on Expert with this song? You wouldn’t have feet by the end of it, unless you happened to have a third eye like Garnet.
8: Haven’t You Noticed (I’m a Star) (Steven/Sadie Version)
Steven joyfully singing this pop ballad while wearing a skirt and makeup would be more than enough to merit its inclusion here, but it’s the Sadie section that really does it for me. Kate Micucci (who plays Sadie) has had her own career as a singer for quite awhile and her vocal talents warm the heart.
Plus it’s great that while Steven thrives in singing in front of everyone, Sadie prefers to just quietly jam with Steven in the back of the Big Donut. Some people sing for attention, some just do it for fun and that’s okay.
7: Be Wherever You Are
This is the kind of song you need to lightly play near a campfire when you go hiking or on a road trip. It conjures up images of the more peaceful things in life. Time well spent with friends, looking up at the stars, the wind blowing through your hair.
I won’t lie, if I ended up on a romantic island with someone I had a major crush on? I’d want Steven there to play us some sweet love jams. That’d actually be a great barometer for whether I should date them or not. Do you like Steven’s singing? No? I never want to see you again!
6: Do it for Her
When I thought about whether I should include this song on my list I instantly said to myself, “you’ll do it for her.” I mean, yeah. What better reason do you need? I can’t tell you how often I encourage my Steven Universe fan friends to do something and follow it up with, “do it for her.”
While the lyrics are a little disturbing and speak deeply to Pearl’s psychology after living in Gem society, it doesn’t negate the fact that this is a gay love ballad about Pearl’s devotion to Rose.
5: We Are the Crystal Gems (Full Theme Song)
The TV size opening is just fine, but come on; everyone loves an extended version of an opening theme song. You get some insight into the Crystal Gems back-story, the primary character’s motivation, and little Steven singing at the start.
That little Steven section is easily my favorite part, especially his delivery of the “We’ll win the fight and then go out for pizzas” lyric. It’s pure Steven and I’m glad this section of the song was salvaged from the pilot.
This song perfectly sets the tone of the show and maps out the mission statement of each episode with ease. “We are the crystal gems. We’ll always save the day. And if you think we can’t we’ll always find a way!”
4: Stronger Than You
Another gay love ballad, this one coming from Ruby and Sapphire as Garnet. “Stronger Than You” is the perfect way to end season one. Even against Jasper, the most terrifying gem they’ve ever faced, this song leaves no question in your mind that Garnet is going to win. Estelle is a brilliant singer and her talents on this track are a fierce wonder to behold.
The songs lyrics also reflect a lot of the series’ themes. Working together, love, and self-empowerment. Plus the lyric, “I am a conversation” underscores just what makes Ruby and Sapphire’s love work. Communication, which is something their enemies often lack.
3: It’s Over, Isn’t It?
Steven Universe is all about the gay love ballads and I am forever here for it. This is the most heartbreaking of the bunch, Pearl singing a beautiful soliloquy finally letting go of her love for Rose.
Deedee Magno Hall’s vocals are a powerhouse here, with every word basking in a rich flow of emotions. You don’t often get that level of emotion in music, let alone in a cartoon that is aimed at kids.
This song will break your heart. For anyone who’s lost a love to someone else you’ll find a lot to relate to here.
2: Here Comes a Thought
This song is without a doubt the best coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety I’ve ever seen come out of popular media. Putting things into song usually helps to get lessons across, especially if you’ve got Estelle on vocals.
The song begins with describing how someone can become overwhelmed by anxiety but beautifully dovetails into how one can deal with it. It suggests meditation (especially in the episodes visuals) and to remember that no matter how anxiety makes you feel, it isn’t the end of the world.
By taking a moment to think of “flexibility, love, and trust” you can stop yourself from feeling completely overwhelmed. We all could use this song in our hectic world, that’s for sure.
1: Cookie Cat
I love “Cookie Cat”. I love “Cookie Cat” more than Steven loves Cookie Cats. This is the song that instantly won me over to the show. Steven knows the entire back-story to Cookie Cat without missing a beat. We can assume the rap is from a commercial he’s seen but that doesn’t make it any less endearing.
Do yourself a favor and blast this song at every opportunity you can get. Roll down your windows and let it blare out of your car on the freeway. Sing it to your friends on Snapchat. Hum it to yourself on a walk. Your day will be instantly improved, guaranteed.
Some may question why I put this silly little diddy at the top of the list. Those people do not know the love of Cookie Cat. Open your hearts to Cookie Cat. Accept him as the one true frozen treat. Lion Lickers be damned.
What are you favorite Steven Universe songs? Let us know in the comments!